Science and Technology in the Modern World

This course will explore the social, intellectual and economic relationships of science and technology in the modern world (approximately 1845 to the present day). We will use a modified case-study approach to create “snapshots” of topics that incorporate such factors as who participates in scientific and technological endeavors, where work is conducted, and the supports (social, financial, emotional) necessary to individual and collective pursuits. Class members will have some input into the topics we study, which may include: Technology and science in everyday things, Darwin and his aftermath, Communication technologies, Science and technology in war, Transportation, Health and Medicine. Sub-themes that will be incorporated into all topics include: Objects and physical spaces of science and technology, Attitudes about the immediate and larger environment, Changing ideas of improvement and progress.

3 credits. Sarah Lowengard

Course Code: SS 385

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.